BDS Campaign Update (April 2010 – June 2010) Utrecht , Holland 18 May 2010 (© BADIL)

Palestinian University Students and Youth Groups Commit to Sweeping Boycotts
28 April 2010 – In the lead-up to the Nakba-62 commemorations, Palestinian student and youth groups in Palestine and in exile issued a statement in which they committed to enforce a broad boycott of Israeli products and programs. "Economic, political, cultural and institutional normalization legitimize Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people by giving the appearance of normalcy to the relationship between oppressor and oppressed. This relationship is hardly one between equals as Israel continues to violate our inalienable rights, steal our land, and prevent refugees from our right of return in contravention of international law and numerous UN resolutions." The students also asserted their “right to resist Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people through all forms of resistance and in accordance to international law, including forms of civil resistance such as demonstrations, sits-ins and, boycotts of Israel.”

 

Boston Activists Disrupt Israeli Propaganda Event at Science Museum
3 May 2010 – BDS activists in Boston protested the “Israeli Innovation Weekend” (IIW) at the Museum of Science in Boston through multiple and diverse actions. IIW’s sponsors, including the Consulate General of Israel to New England, were largely unable to prevent their successful, multi-pronged disruption of the event. Watch the video at: http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/697

Largest NGO Platform in Malta Calls for BDS
5 May 2010 - The development NGO platform Skop has called for a boycott of Israeli companies in the wake of the shooting of Bianca Zammit, a Maltese activist who was injured by a live bullet shot by the Israeli forces in Gaza. Bianca Zammit was injured in an unwarranted attack by IDF personnel while accompanying Palestinian farmers in Gaza to their fields in the so called ‘buffer zone’, a no-go area unilaterally declared by Israel. There is no legal basis for the no-go area. In its statement, Skop urged the EU institutions to reconsider EU-Israel privileged relations. Skop, the national platform of Maltese NGOs, is Malta’s broadest network of voluntary and non-governmental organizations working in international development and humanitarian aid.

Episcopal Peace Fellowship Joins BDS Campaign
9 May 2010 - The National Executive Council of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship (www.epfnational.org) endorsed a statement calling for BDS with a vote of 8 yes, 2 no and 1 abstention. The statement “endorses the application of divestment and an economic and commercial boycott of products linked to oppression of Palestinian people and occupation of their land... The National Executive Council asks the Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s Israel/Palestine Action Group to offer resources to our membership and the wider church on effective strategies for boycott, divestment, and sanctions.”

Dublin City Council Refuses to Renew Contract with Veolia
10 May 2010 – The Dublin City Council passed a resolution calling on the City Manager not to sign or renew any contracts with French multinational Veolia – the operators of the LUAS who have also tendered for the Metro North project. Veolia operate Israeli rail, bus and waste services in the illegally occupied West Bank, making them complicit in Israel’s contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The resolution, tabled by Cllr. Joan Collins (People Before Profit), was passed by unanimously at the sitting of Dublin City Council, and is an important statement of solidarity with Palestine by the elected representatives of a European capital city. Details of Veolia’s illegal operations in occupied Palestine can be viewed on the website of the Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign: http://www.ipsc.ie/veoliaNotes

Renowned Canadian Film-Maker Calls on Elton John to Cancel Israel Performance
May 2010 – Activist film-maker John Greyson prepared a brilliant video giving six reasons why Elton John should join the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law. Watch the video at: http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/698

Elvis Costello Cancels Two Israel Performances in Protest of Israeli Violations
18 May 2010 – Costello, one of the most gifted British songwriters of his generation, was due to play on 30 June and 1 July but says his "conscience" dictated that he pull out of the performances. His decision came soon after similar cancellations by a list of performers who have decided not to play in Israel, including Gil Scott-Heron and Santana. Costello published a statement outlining his reasons for the cancellation, stating that “there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent... it is a matter of instinct and conscience.”

Important Quebec Labor Council vote to Support BDS Campaign
17-21 May 2010 – The 297 delegates to the annual convention of the Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CCMM-CSN) voted, nearly unanimously, in favor of a resolution in support of the global campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid. The CCMM (CSN) is a labour council that represents over 80,000 members in 12 federations and more than 600 unions from various sectors and CSN federations, including construction, education, health, and communications. The CCSM (CSN) resolution follows similar resolutions adopted by other Quebec labor unions, including the June 2009 decision by the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), one of Quebec’s largest union federations, to “support the boycott, disinvestments and sanctions campaign against Israel until Israel complies with international law and the universal principles of human rights.”

Two of Italy's Largest Supermarket Chains Suspend Sale of Israeli Settlement Products
22 May 2010 – Following a campaign by the Italian Coalition Against Carmel-Agrexco, two major Italian supermarket chains, COOP and Nordiconad, announced the suspension of sales of products from Agrexco, the principal exporter of produce from Israel and the illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Italian supermarket lobbying campaign was launched in January this year after a national meeting of the Stop Agrexco coalition in Savona, where Agrexco ships dock for distribution in Italy. Efforts are being coordinated with similar movements in Europe, including the Coalition Contre Agrexco in France, which unites more than 90 groups with the common goal of opposing plans to base the Israeli company at the port of Sete (Languedoc-Roussillon).

Québec Women's Union Declares Support for BDS
29-30 May 2010 – At its membership convention in Québec City, the members of Fédération des Femmes du Québec (FFQ) (Québec Federation of Women), voted unanimously in favor of a historic resolution in support of the global campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid. The FFQ represents more than 644 individual members and 184 women’s organizations in Québec.

British Academics' Union Passes Important BDS Resolution
31 May 2010 – The University and College Union (UCU), representing approximately 120,000 teaching and related staff in colleges and universities in the UK, has passed new policies supporting boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The debate took place on Sunday 30 May at the union’s Congress in Manchester. The relevant motions passed at the congress included:
• a commitment to work more closely with Palestinian academics' union (PFUUPE), and to working with bodies including Scottish Trade Unions Council, Amnesty International and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to support the English Trade Union's Council's 2009 Congress decisions to end arms sales to Israel, seek an EU ban on settlement goods and support suspension of the the EU-Israel Association Agreement which provides preferential trade facilities to Israel.
• to establish an annual international conference on BDS, and “to sever all relations with Histadrut, and to urge other trade unions and bodies to do likewise” as well as campaigning actively against the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
• commencing the investigatory process associated with the imposition of a boycott of Ariel College. This is an institution in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, also known as the “College of Judea and Samaria”

San Francisco Green Party Calls for BDS
1 June 2010 – The San Francisco Green Party issued a statement of its position that: “Because all other nonviolent and diplomatic means of resolving the crisis in Palestine/Israel have consistently failed for over four decades, the San Francisco Green Party sees a worldwide boycott and divestment of Israel as the only remaining viable option to bringing an end to the crisis... the San Francisco Green Party is now actively engaging in a full boycott of all purchases of products and services, the financial gains of which will accrue to any individual or entity within Israel, until Israel is in compliance with all United Nations-recognized international laws; all resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council; and, all decisions and directions by all United Nations-recognized international courts, regardless of Israel's participation in or ratification of such courts.” In the statement, the party called upon all of its members, all San Francisco residents, businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions, political parties, and the San Francisco municipal government, as well as the US government to join in the worldwide boycott and divestment of Israel.

Australian Services Union NSW and ACT Branch Joins BDS Campaign
1 June 2010 - The Australian Services Union (ASU) Executive condemned the attack by the Israeli navy on the Gaza peace flotilla and called for the immediate lifting of the Israeli siege on Gaza, and resolved to join the International union and civil society campaign of Boycotts, Divestments and Sanctions to pressure Israel to abide by international law in their treatment of the Palestinian people. In the resolution, the executive stated that “As we believe that international law should be upheld, we resolve to support consumer boycotts of products made in the illegal settlements, as well as consumer boycotts of companies who assist in, or profit from, the occupation of Palestinian territories. In addition, we resolve to review our investments and divest from such companies.”

Norwegian Survey Reveals Widespread Support for BDS
2 June 2010 – In a survey conducted by the InFact Institute two days after Israel's assault on the Freedom Flotilla, 9.5% of respondents stated that they were already boycotting Israeli products, while 33.5% would like to. Only 29.4% of the 1,028 people polled said they were opposed to such a boycott, while 27.6% said they had no opinion on the issue. Kristin Halvorsen, Norway's health minister and head of the Socialist Left party, called for the international community to boycott arms trade with Israel, in line with Norway's existing policy. Three Norwegians were among the 682 people from 42 countries aboard the six ships attacked by the Israeli navy that left nine pro-Palestinian activists dead.

Britain's Largest Trade Union (UNITE) Unanimously Calls for BDS
4 June 2010 – UNITE, Britain's largest union, unanimously passed a motion to boycott Israeli companies at its first policy conference in Manchester. The motion called on the union "to vigorously promote a policy of divestment from Israeli companies", while a boycott of Israeli goods and services will be "similar to the boycott of South African goods during the era of apartheid".

NorwayCancels Military Seminar with Israel
4 June 2010 - Norway's military stated that it had canceled a special operations seminar because the Defense Ministry objected to the inclusion of an Israeli army officer in the program. Military spokeswoman Major Heidi Langvik-Hansen stated that the Defense Ministry was unhappy that the Israel's Colonel Toledano would be delivering a talk in Oslo only weeks after Israel's deadly commando raid on the Gaza freedom flotilla.

Klaxons and Gorillaz Sound System Cancel Israel Shows due to Assault on Freedom Flotilla
4 June 2010 - The two renowned bands the Klaxons and the Gorillaz Sound System both canceled their performances in Israel in the wake of Israel's deadly raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla. Both groups were supposed to arrive in Israel on Friday to headline the Pic.Nic. Festival to be held at the Expo Grounds in Tel Aviv. The groups, however, did not provide an official reason for canceling their trips.

South African Municipal Workers Launch “Israeli Apartheid Free Zone” Campaign
4 June 2010 – At its Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting, the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU, a member union of COSATU) unanimously endorsed a motion to immediately work towards every municipality in South Africa to become an Apartheid Israel free zone. As part of the global Boycott, Dvestment and Sanctions Campaign (BDS) SAMWU has agreed to engage every single municipality to ensure that there are no commercial, academic, cultural, sporting or other linkages whatsoever with the Israeli regime. Every SAMWU branch will immediately approach municipal and water authorities to become part of the BDS campaign, and to publicly declare their solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The Pixie's Cancel Israel Performance
6 June 2010 – Influential US rock group the Pixies have canceled their first performance in Israel, blaming "events beyond our control". The band, whose albums include Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, were due to be headliners at the Pic.Nic festival. The Pixies had been sent letters by human rights activists before Israel's naval attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, urging them to cancel their appearance because of Israel's policies towards the Palestinians.

Palestinian Workers Movement Calls on Dockworkers Internationally to Block Israeli Ships
7 June 2010 - The Palestinian trade union movement, as a key constituent member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) called on dockworkers' unions worldwide to block Israeli maritime trade in response to Israel’s massacre of humanitarian relief workers and activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla, until Israel complies with international law and ends its illegal blockade of Gaza. Read the full statement at: http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/712

Irish Supermarket Chain Boycotts Israeli Potatoes
9 June 2010 – LIDL, one of Ireland's largest chain stores, have stopped selling two lines of baby potatoes that are sourced from Israel. In 2009, Ireland imported goods worth $100million from Israel and exported over $240million to Israel. Irish activists have worked tirelessly to cut Ireland's trade relations with Israel, and are currently engaged in a campaign targeting CRH, an Irish corporation that specializes in cement products and which is involved in building Israel's Wall.

WFTU Calls for Three-Day Strike targetting Israeli Vessels
9 June 2010 - The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) issued a call for a three day strike at all ports of the world against commercial vessels to or from Israel, for all naval workers, dock workers and all workers and all unions in the ports to refuse to load or unload ships coming or heading for Israel. The TUI Transport of the WFTU is at the forefront of this strike. The action was meant as a practical demonstration of the militant solidarity with the Palestinian People and against the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

British firm RedRat Cuts Ties with Israeli Company
11 June 2010 - British company RedRat announced to Israeli company Disk-In Pro that despite years of cooperation, it would no longer work with the Israeli company because of Israel's policy in the Gaza Strip. Responding to Israeli journalists, the British company confirmed they worked with Disk-In Pro for a number of years and that they do not think this is the time to do business with Israeli companies in light of recent events. They added that in this they are acting as many other businesses, academics and artists are acting, and expressed their best wishes for Disk-In Pro's success. They also said that they currently have no other Israeli business partners, but that if they had, they would cease working with them too.

Oslo Borough Votes to Boycott Israel
14 June 2010 – The old Grorud borough district of Oslo, Norway's capital, voted to boycott Israel. The motion passed by eight votes to four, led by the Red Party's Turid Thomassen. The old Norway district also moved to encourage the district administration to prevent Israeli goods from entering Norway. According to Norwegian media sources, more municipalities, counties and districts in Norway are submitting proposals to boycott Israel.

Folk musician Devendra Banhart cancels Tel Aviv Shows
15 June 2010 – Folk music artist Devendra Banhart cancelled two shows he had been set to play in Tel Aviv on June 16 and 17, saying left-wing Israeli groups had urged him not to perform.

United Methodists Vote to Divest from Companies that Benefit from the Occupation of Palestine
15 June 2010 – At its annual conference, the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) voted to divest all holdings in three international corporations that profit from the occupation of Palestine. This action is in response to a plea by Palestinian Christians for action, not just words. By selling its investments in Caterpillar (CAT), General Electric (GE) and Terex (TEX), the NIC expresses its commitment to do no harm with its investments and affirms the call of the UMC Book of Discipline to "avoid investments that appear likely, directly or indirectly, to support violation of human rights” (Paragraph 716). These three companies are among 20 targeted by UMC conferences across the country because they (1) have a presence on occupied land, (2) are involved with the physical settlements, checkpoints and the separation wall, or (3) support activities of the Israeli military in the occupied territories.
For the list of targeted corporations compiled by the New England Conference (UMC) Divestment Task Force, see: http://www.neumc.org/pages/detail/375

BDS Activists in Oakland, California Prevent Israeli Ship from Off-Loading
21 June 2010 - In an unprecedented action for the US, over 800 labor and community activists blocked the gates of the Oakland docks (the sixth largest dock in the US) in the early morning hours, prompting longshore workers to refuse to cross the picket-lines where they were scheduled to unload an Israeli ship. From 5:30 am to 9:30 am, a militant and spirited protest was held in front of four gates of the Stevedore Services of America, with people chanting non-stop, “Free, Free Palestine, Don’t Cross the Picket Line,” and “An injury to one is an injury to all, bring down the apartheid wall.” In the week leading up to the action, the San Francisco Labor Council and Alameda Labor Council passed resounding resolutions denouncing Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Both councils sent out public notices of the dock action. The ILWU has a proud history of extending its solidarity to struggling peoples the world over. In 1984, as the Black masses of South Africa were engaged in an intense struggle against South African apartheid, the ILWU refused for a record-setting 10 days to unload cargo from the South African “Ned Lloyd” ship. Despite million-dollar fines imposed on the union, the longshore workers held strong, providing a tremendous boost to the anti-apartheid movement. See the video of the action at: http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/714

Swedish Dockworkers Union Blockade of Israeli Goods Begins - Ten Containers Held
23 June 2010 – The Swedish Dock-workers union began a week-long blockade of goods to and from Israe. The ongoing nation-wide blockade in Swedish harbors, that is based on the request of the Palestinian workers' union-movement, is The Swedish Dockworkers Union's attempt to contribute to pressure Israel into: 1. Lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip, 2. Allowing an independent, international investigation of what happened at the Israeli boarding of the Freedom Flotilla when nine people were shot to death. In the harbor of Gothenburg the blockade were initiated without any complications. About ten containers, both Israeli imports and exports were immediately identified in the container terminal, all of which have been separated and will stand untouched in the harbor of Gothenburg until the end of the blockade at 24:00 on the 29th of June.